Weekend Update

— Today is Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year. Hope you have a good day nonetheless.

— The picture at the top is from yesterday morning. I taught kids, believe it or not!

The leader of the kids program at Sojourn is starting a new program of bringing people in one week a month to lead the children’s lesson as different characters. (That is, you have a character that you come back as each month for the lesson.) Yesterday was my first week doing it. For my character, I picked a detective-type based on the one I use for the Film Noir game in Face2Face shows. (Which, apparently, we’ll not be doing anymore — the game, not the shows.) I was supposed to pick a name for the character, so I went with Mike Kincaid, which amused me greatly. Mike Kincaid was head of the education office at Johnson when I started working at NASA, and from the first time I heard his name, it struck me that it would be perfect for a hard-nose Mickey-Spillane-type private eye. The trio of K-sounds just exude toughness. So it made me happy to finally get to use it.

Anyway, me being me, I felt like I could have done better, of course, but I got positive feedback from the leaders of the children’s programs, so hopefully it wasn’t too bad.

Going into it, everybody said, “Oh, don’t be nervous.” And I’m thinking, “You know, I get on stage practically every month to perform, I’m not going to get nervous talking to a group of kids.” So I’m in the little room where they have me waiting until I’m called out to come do my thing, and I can’t look over my materials again because I’m pacing back and forth, and I’m thinking to myself, “It’s a good thing I know I’m not nervous, ’cause this looks an awful lot like nervousness.”

— It’s funny how you can not even realize you missed someone until you see them again.

There’s been a greater trend in my life than usual over the past two years or so of old friends being reintroduced into the story; some of them people I’d not seen in several years coming back to play major parts again, some of them cameos by old favorites, and some of them new incidences of on-going cycles. My pastor, Greg, was one of the latter; God brings him into my life in different ways over the years when I need him, before diverging our roads again.

Saturday I spent time with another friend like that; we first met each other in a class at Southside many years ago, and then encountered each other again at Whitesburg before he moved on. This time, I accepted an invitation to come to a group he is starting on apologetics. The group was very interesting, and I’m looking forward to learning from it as it progresses. But as interesting as the class was, it was really great just spending time with my friend again. He and I have relatively different worldviews, albeit rooted in some common foundations, and he’s intelligent and articulate and knowledgeable and more than able to hold his own in a debate, which we’ve had a few of over the years. My own views have evolved a good bit since the last time I saw him, but it was fun how easily and comfortably we fell back into our pattern.

— Have I mentioned I’m going to be signing books at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Saturday at 1 p.m. with my co-author Owen Garriott? If not, I am.

I’ll also be at the gala event that night, though I’m still finalizing my plans for that. And I need to buy a new, proper dress shirt, apparently.

I also had the opportunity to donate a couple of copies of Homesteading to an auction last night to raise funds for aid to Haiti. It was an incredible honor to be able to participate like that. Unfortunately, I helped the auction as much with what I bought as I did by donating books. Oh well. I also got to hear Microwave Dave & the Nukes for the first time, despite having spent the bulk of my life in Huntsville. It was a fun evening.

— I went to see Theatre Huntsville’s presentation of Almost, Maine this week. It was cute, a collection of little love-story vignettes, some sweet, some painful, some funny. Great music; I found myself surreptitiously using the iPhone to Shazam some of the songs. I went to see it in part because it featured Face2Face’s Fred Sayers, who did a scene with another great Huntsville stage veteran, and it was a pleasure watching them; their work seemed so facile.

— Also on Thursday, the STS-129 crew visited Marshall on Thursday, and reported on their recent flight. Always cool seeing how much the station has grown up. And people actually asked technical questions, which made me happy.

— Right now, it’s looking increasingly likely that I’m going to try to go to STS-130 to see the last night launch. Yay!

— Gee, my 365project work has been kind of dark lately. I need to find some color, stat!

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